Satz & Theorem

“A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.”

– Alfréd Rényi

It’s a pun in German, where the word Satz means both ‘theorem’ and ‘(coffee) grounds‘ [咖啡渣].



这位中国留英数学专业的小伙子有很好的口才: 数学之美, 他的数学遗憾。

华威大学(The University of Warwick),famous for mathematics in UK.

Key Points:

Einstein用 Riemann Geometry 数学救了Newton 物理。

中国数学的没落: 自从明朝科举废除数学考试

3位大师救近代中国数学: 华罗庚, 陈省身, 苏步青

数学光明的未来: AI, Big Data, Cloud Computing

天才的崎岖道路: “扫地僧”张益唐

时代的”指数” exponential快脚步, 不要追风, 要一以贯之 : Prof. Andrew Wiles proved 350-year-old “Fermat’s Last Theorem” (FLT).

[纠正]: Andrew Wiles 超过40岁, 没赶上Fields Medal, 只得个”奖励”。他看到椭圆(Ellipse)气球, 得到突破 FLT “工具”的灵感 – “Elliptic Curve” 。

数学是什么: 爱情, 艺术, 音乐, 科技

Visionary mathematician Vladimir Voevodsky

A self-study Russian mathematician, kicked out 3 times in high schools, expelled from Moscow University, all because he did not attend classes, preferred to self-study in a broader scope for his curiosity, at his own faster speed than the rigid curriculum and boring test-and-exams regime in classrooms.

He did the PhD in Harvard by invitation even he did not have a Bachelor degree, and he barely passed the Harvard’s QE (Qualifying Exams) in Algebraic Geometry, a field in which he made a revolutionary discovery few years later, and for which he was awarded the highest honor : Fields Medal.

This is the typical trait of the geniuses like Evariste Galois, Albert Einstein, Ramanujian, Hua Luogeng (华罗庚), Zhang YiTang (张益唐 – proved “70m Twin Prime Gap”) [#] , Chen Jingrun (陈景润, proved Goldbach Conjecture “1+2”) [##]… with self-motivated curiosity in their field of passion, with reading from the Masters’ works by themselves, PLUS thinking on a problem over many years with perseverance, they finally made great discoveries !


  1. Topology 拓扑
  2. Algebraic Geometry 代数几何: Geometry and Algebraic Equations
  3. Motif: Grothendieck
  4. Homotopy Theory 同伦

[Full Article] :


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How (not) to memorise mathematics

Many excellent Math students after leaving universities more than 10 years forget 90% of math they learned, save some primary school arithmetics – few could do Singapore PSLE Modelling Math or solve quadratic equations.

The “Story-Telling” memory technique via “Signposts” can be used to reconstruct math from first principles:

Note: Lewis Carroll: the author of “Alice in wonderland”

Cambridge Professor Tim Gowers (Fields Medalist) suggested the similar pedagogy of “Memorise by First Principles”.

What is math? 

What is Math ? Interesting article below:

  • Mathematics = “that which is learned“ –(Pythagoras)

Math is not about calculation, it is understanding the nature, the universe, the philosophy (logic, intelligence – both “human” and “artificial”)…

What is Axiom, Lemma, Proposition ? Why rigorous Calculus was needed hundred years after Newton & Leibniz had invented it – “Epsilon-Delta” Analysis.

Difference between Riemann Integral & Lebesgue Integral ?